Function – Advisory - To advise BCC regarding establishment of agricultural districts and approval of easement purchases by the Foundation, assist BCC in reviewing the status of agricultural districts and land under easement, to advise Foundation concerning county priorities for ag preservation, to approve/disapprove applications by the county for certification of the ag preservation program, promote preservation of agriculture w/in the county by providing information & assistance to farmers regarding ag preservation districts and purchase of easements, meet with forest conservation district boards to work cooperatively, and other duties as assigned.

Qualifications – 3 members must be owner/operators of farms earning at least 50% of their income from farming.


The Carroll County Agricultural Land Preservation Program for Fiscal Year 2019 is now closed to new applications. Applications are being processed to determine eligibility in preparation for review by the Ag Land Preservation Advisory Board and the County Commissioners. If you would like to preserve your property you may submit an application at any time but it may be held until a new cycle. If your property lies within a Rural Legacy Area, your application can be considered immediately if grant funding is available. To determine your eligibility you may call our office at any time at (410) 386-2214.

Owners of at least 60 acres of farm or forestland can click on the application link at the bottom of this page, print it and send to the address given. Owners of less than 60 acres but more than 30 acres may also apply if they meet additional criteria. Call (410) 386-2214 for more information.

If you are interested in protecting your property and would consider payment for a permanent agricultural conservation easement that will preserve your land for agricultural use, you may download and print an application from this site or call our office for further information. Also, review our Preservation Programs Brochure for information on programs available.

Generally, the following qualifications are in effect:

  1. Properties must be at least 60 acres, or if less than 60 acres, they must be more than 30 acres and: a.) adjacent to a preserved farm; b.) have a minimum of 4 lot rights; and c.) may not retain any lot right. Properties of fewer than 30 acres will not be accepted into the county’s Ag Land Preservation program unless they are being added onto a preserved property of same owner. Other program options may be available for small properties.
  2. Properties must have at least 50% USDA Class I, II, or III soil capability and/or Woodland Groups I and II.
  3. All properties must have development rights and subdivision potential.
  4. The easement must be approved by the Carroll County Agricultural Land Preservation Advisory Board and the Board of County Commissioners.

Two payment options will be available:

  1. Lump sum payment. Offer may be up to 70% of fair market value and is paid in full at settlement. Offers will be derived using a points-based formula based on traditional appraisals and area comparable values.
  2. Installment Purchase Agreement (IPA): Payment through a 20 year contract that will pay approximately 5% tax-free interest on the offer amount yearly, with full offer amount paid at the end of the period. IPA offers are capped at 40% of fair market value but boosted with the tax-free interest. The cost of bonds may affect the interest rate offered, but the program strives to offer 5%.

Note: If insufficient funding limits the number of offers made, properties will be prioritized through a ranking system. IPA options, which conserve funds in the current fiscal year, may receive priority.

Call (410) 386-2214 for more information.